Gabii Sa Kabilin: A Walk To Remember In Cebu

The annual Gabii Sa Kabilin for this year’s edition is truly a walk to remember in Cebu. Inspired by the Long Night of Museums in Germany and other European nation, the Gabii Sa Kabilin aims for the same purpose as of the previous years.

This one-day event, which usually celebrated every last Friday of the month of May, it encourages the public to visit the museums, preserves Cebu’s rich culture and heritage, develops an understanding that museums can also be venues for live cultural activities among Cebuanos, and breaks away the misconception that museums are mere repositories of “dead” objects.

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Gabii Sa Kabilin: A Walk To Remember In Cebu

Even though I have been staying in Cebu City for more than 10 years now, I still haven’t been to many places. However, fortunately for me, though, I was able to spend a night with some of my blogger friends to a walk I will always remember; my first-time experience of the Gabii Sa Kabilin last May 26, 2017.

My senses in appreciating the history and the culture of Cebu were widely opened even more. It’s the idea that no matter how modern the Queen City of the South and its neighboring municipalities and cities today, there are still treasures being kept for us to remember and recall that Cebu was, and still is, a place of many origin stories. From the Spanish colonial era, American and Japanese wars, the pieces of memories are intact for people of the new generation to witness and to cherish.

From its opening ceremonies at the Cebu Provincial Capitol at 5 PM to my last stop at Fort San Pedro at around 10:30 PM, here are some the places that I have been (and did a little study about on each of them for me to share) and I happily took these photos if so happen you weren’t around during the heritage night hunt.

San Nicolas De Tolentino Parish

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The San Nicolas de Tolentino Parish in Cebu City is one of the oldest in the Philippines.

It was established in 1584. Today, the church hosts the Kaplag Festival, which celebrates the discovery of the image of the Holy Child by Juan Camus, who was part of the Legazpi expedition.

Rizal Memorial Library & Museum

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The Rizal Memorial Library and Museum is a Neo-renaissance building with a graceful staircase leading from the street to main great hall.

The Interior Of The San Nicolas De Tolentino Parish

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The San Nicolas de Tolentino Parish in Cebu City is famous for its interior made of multi-colored tile mosaic created by respected sculptor Fidel Araneta. The tiles are imported from Italy.

The Heritage Monument Of Cebu

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The Heritage Monument of Cebu is a patch of sculptures made of cement, brass, bronze, and steel depicting significant historical events.

It is located at the former Parian Park, Colon Street.

The Colon Obelisk

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The Colon Obelisk is a marker of the oldest street in the Philippines, Colon Street.

The street is named after Cristóbal Colón (Christopher Columbus).

The Legaspi Monument

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The white memorial tower is the Legaspi Tower, in honor of the Spanish explorer Miguel Lopez de Legaspi, who served as the first Governor General of the Philippines and the founder of Cebu City.

The tower is housed at the Plaza Independencia, a public park surrounded by giant Acacia trees.

The Yap-San Diego Ancestral House

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A house built in the 1600s is the Yap-San Diego Ancestral House. It is one of the oldest existing structural residential houses in the Philippines. It is made of coral stones and woods, by a family of Chinese merchants, Don Juan Yap and Maria Florido, sometime in the late 17th century.

When their eldest daughter, Maria, got married to Don Mariano Avendano Sandiego, the house was converted into an activity center.

The ancestral house is said to be the oldest Chinese house outside China.

Cebu Provincial Capitol

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The Cebu Provincial Capitol is a national landmark in the history of the Philippines that is considered to be one of the most beautiful structures in the country.

A historical heritage handed down from the American colonial era, the Cebu Provincial Capitol was completed in 1938, designed by Juan M. Arellano, a Filipino architect best known for the Manila Metropolitan Theater, National Museum of the Philippines, and the Manila Central Post Office.

Fort San Pedro

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The Fort San Pedro was built as a military defense center near the pier area of Cebu City in 1738. The main function of this triangular fort is to help the Spanish and the Cebuano revolutionaries to repel raiders from both the land and the sea.

Fort San Pedro is the smallest and the oldest triangular bastion in the Philippines, and it is considered to be the center of the Spanish settlement in the country during the 19th century.

This heritage site became one of the living witnesses of the Spanish, American and Japanese wars that took place in Cebu City.

Cebu Autobus

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The Cebu Autobus Company was established in April of 1926. The company started with 8 buses and by 1930, the company had a total of 100 buses.

During those times, Cebuanos always said to “take the ‘Autobus’ for safe and comfortable travel.” The company was operating buses throughout mainland Cebu and was the pioneering transportation company in Cebu.

(This mini Autobus is placed on the grounds of the Rizal Memorial Library and Museum or commonly known as the Cebu City Public Library).

Casa Gorordo

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In a quieter, residential area in the downtown part of the city, a house was built in the 1850s and was purchased by one of Cebu’s leading families, the Gorordos. It is a two-storey house. The lower part has walls of coral stones from Mactan, Cebu. The upper floor is where the living quarters are located, in Philippine hardwood joined together not by carpenter nails but with wooden pegs.

The Casa Gorordo serves as a museum of the property of the Gorordo family, displaying kitchen wares, bedroom and living room furniture, family photos and antique jars. You can personally see in the house a very old toilet seat made out of a wooden box.

With its Spanish influence, the house was also built with Chinese principles of Fung Shui, considering the ancestry of the family.

The Gabii Sa Kabilin was indeed a walk to remember in Cebu. I am hoping that soon, people will be more involved to this amazing rediscovery of the history of the Queen City and its well-kept treasures.

As I was telling myself before arriving back home from a very tiring but an experience worth remembering, “I will do it again next year,” and will do my best to explore more heritage sites reaching Mandaue and Lapu-Lapu City.

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My blogger friends and I during our stop at San Nicolas de Tolentino Parish [Photo credit: Rome Nicolas of BastaBisaya.com]

At the end of the long but exciting journey, my feet hurt, and I’m all drenched in sweat. However, to make the best out of everything from what I have seen and witnesses at the Gabii Sa Kabilin, every inhale, and every exhale of breath, every laughter, every drop of sweat is all worth it.

I will do it again for next year, for sure.

I may not personally know the people behind this amazing event, but I will still say “Thank You” for this wonderful opportunity. But all I know, thank you Sto. Niño for a very beautiful Cebu.

Maayong Gabii Sa Kabilin. Kita-kita ta sunod tuig!


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Philip Andrew Mayol
Philip Andrew Mayol
I'm a blogger, a crazy kid, and a happy piece of a blob. My star sign is on the cusp of the Crab and the Lion. I am a Julian.

I am not paraskevidekatriaphobic but something wicked this way comes; not autophobic, not cibophobic, not kakorrhaphiophobic, earth-kinetophobic, not metrophobic, muriphobic, not oneirophobic.

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  • Swit Pai

    Hi Flippy, you miss the Iglesia Filipina Independiente in Mabini, just few steps away from Yap-San Diego, dapit na sa Bonifacio Street. hehe. Next time nalang.

    • Hi Pai,

      Probably the feet gave up! Hahaha. Or maybe we chose a different route since we took the shuttle to go places during the Gabii sa Kabilin. Maybe next year I can go to more places and go beyond Cebu City.

      Thanks for reading my post. Hope you enjoy it. Have a good day!